150 Years Ago (1863 09/24)

Brattleboro, Sept. 24th,1863.

It is a mystery to me why I am here. While I was writing the foregoing sheet I received order to pack my knapsack and go to Brattleboro. In two minutes from that time I was on my way to the boat stopped over night in Boston reached here last night. The captain that came on with me knew no more about it than I did. He said Major Jarvis had orders from Major Austin to send me back.

I reported to the officer of the day here. He wanted to know what I was here for, I was told to go to the Guard house and in the morning he would see what I was here for and if proper would let me out. In about an hour an order came from the Major to let me out and to report to the orderly Sergeant of Co. A, which you had better believe I did in short order. Say nothing about it. I will write as soon as I know whay I am here. Baxter has been writing to Major Austin. I am pretty sure it takes some time for things to get round in military matters, so say nothing till you hear from me again. My health is good. I have time to say no more.

Yours affectionately,



Direct here, to Charles Blake, Company
A, Box 165

Brattleboro, Vt.


In hurry. Sept. 22-24, 1863

Comments | 6

  • Military Intelligence...

    …was obviously an oxymoron even back then.

  • a special mission?

    The plot thickens.

    I suppose this was up in the area of the current high school, where the fairgrounds were and military camps were set up.

  • Charles Blake

    Thank you for posting this, it’s fascinating to read. I think i found Charles E. Blake of Charleston Vt (one of three Charles Blakes from Vermont who served in the war), and discovered that he was ultimately assigned to the 6th Vermont Volunteers, who were part of the famed Army of the Potomac. He fought in several battles after they left Boston that October. Sadly, he died almost exactly a year later during the Battle of Opequan in Winchester, Virginia. I wonder what life was like for his (second) wife, Abiah, and their four children without him. I am struck by the reserved, but unmistakably tender tone of these letters, and it’s heartbreaking to imagine leaving my own family to die on some muddy field, noble cause notwithstanding.

    There is more info about him here:
    And here

    • Now, don't go spoiling the ending for everyone...

      …but there’s a lot more that happens before then.

      His son Edward moved to South Dakota and became my great-grandfather.

      The Mansur family (Abiah’s family) has some pretty extensive genaeology records too.

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